The installation of slip dowels is one of the most important steps in the process of constructing slabs on grade. These smooth steel bars are often needed to transfer wheel loads from one slab to the next and to prevent differential settlement between slabs. But to function properly, slip dowels must be aligned perpendicular to the construction joint and parallel with each other and the slab surface; if they aren't, the slab may exhibit spalling, cracking, and reduced load-carrying capacity. Since it's so difficult to install dowel bars properly, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based firm of Speed Dowel Inc. is finding a growing market for an efficient slip-dowel installation system. Consisting of a plastic base and sleeve, this two-component system speeds construction setup and makes possible the installation of as many as 250 perfectly aligned slip dowels per hour. EFFICIENT SETUP AND INSTALLATION Users simply screw or nail the plastic bases to the face of the formwork at the specified dowel spacing, and then slip a plastic sleeve over each base to create cavities for the steel dowel bars. Available in lengths of either 9 or 12 inches, the sleeves have been manufactured to provide a precision fit for smooth dowel bars ranging from 5/8 to 1 inch in diameter. Reinforcing steel can be placed as needed, then concrete. After the concrete has hardened sufficiently, strip the formwork. When workers are ready to make the next concrete placement, dowel bars can be inserted to the full depth of each sleeve.